NBA: Best buy -- the Grizzlies

Nov 4, 2008 7:07 PM
by Mark Mayer |

One week into the NBA regular season and Las Vegas books may have already been wrong about Memphis. The Grizzlies had a projected win total of 22½, lowest in the league by a full five games. But through four games, Memphis is 2-2 overall, 3-1 against the spread and a perfect 4-0 to the under.

That last stat may be the most revealing. The Grizzlies are actually playing defense and at least for now the linesmakers haven’t noticed. Marc Gasol (pictured at right) scored 27 points in Monday night’s 90-79 win over Golden State. The 169 total was a whopping 32 below the projected 201. And the other three Memphis games were just as decisive to the under.

Against Houston the teams totaled 153 points, 38½ below the projected 191½. Against Orlando the teams combined for 170 points, 23 below the projected 193. And against Chicago, the total of 182 was eight below the projected 190. So check the over / under line closely Wednesday night when the Grizzlies visit winless Sacramento and see if the books continue to project a 190 or higher total.

As for who’s hot and not against the spread, Atlanta, Denver and Indiana have covered every game, while San Antonio, the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota have been spread losers. The world champion Boston Celtics have also been perfect to the under through three games as have the Lakers.

With all the talk of under teams, there are some successful to the over. Detroit, New Orleans and Phoenix have each exceeded the projected the total in their three games.